Life at Deloitte

Focus on what you can do and the value you bring

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we sat down with Tammy Hawthorn to learn about her career journey and involvement with Deloitte’s Ability First & Allies (Ability First) Business Resource Group (BRG). Tammy, a senior consultant in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Federal Government Services practice, was recently featured in Careers & the disABLED magazine.

What has your career path looked like?
After business school, I worked in industry with a focus on talent. Four years into my career, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. It took a long time to get the right diagnosis and treatment and during that time, I was severely fatigued and in tremendous pain, making it difficult to keep up with the demands of my job. I was worried I might not find the right balance between focusing on my health and achieving my career goals.

That changed when my husband’s career took us to Washington, D.C. I researched consulting firms, which led me to Deloitte and the Federal Government Services practice. I liked that I would get to work on a lot of different projects in a fast-paced environment and that Deloitte was so invested in its people. I’ve been with Deloitte for four years and I appreciate the supportive and inclusive culture and that I don’t have to sacrifice my health to have a successful career.

How have you benefited from your involvement in Ability First?
I’ve participated in recruiting events, led learning sessions and built my network across Deloitte–all very valuable. 

What advice do you have for others who have disabilities?
1.    Find a champion who understands the challenges you face and can support you in making tough choices

2.    Be willing to educate your co-workers about your unique capabilities–and focus on what you can do and the value you bring

3.    Communicate your needs for accommodations. While it’s your choice to disclose your circumstances, you don’t have to suffer in silence.


The Ability First & Allies BRG

Matthew Toennies was born deaf but uses a cochlear implant to achieve minimal hearing. Despite this disability, Matthew has been with Deloitte Services LP 15 years and is a manager with Database Management working out of Hermitage. Here’s what Matthew says about the Ability First & Allies BRG.

"The one thing that has stood out regarding my involvement with the Ability First & Allies BRG is the fact that many are challenged by a disability that is not seen. There are those whose disability is not evident or who are a member of the BRG because a family member has a disability. The best advice I can give to someone who is impacted by a disability is to get ‘connected’ with others who may share their challenges." 

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